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My kids are on a three week break from school with all the latest that has happened. Many kids are home from school right now. Some parents are wondering what to do to keep them busy. To keep worrying and anxiousness to a minimum, maintaining a sense of normalcy are key! Also, no one wants to feel “cooped up”, so keeping a busy schedule with indoor and outdoor activities is helpful. I love having spontaneous fun with my kids, but I also believe that structure plays an important role in productivity and distraction from hard or scary things that may be happening in the world.
This is a perfect time to bond and connect as a family when many other responsibilities and activities have been cancelled or put off.
I let my kids know that we would have lots of fun, but that there would still be chores. I’m not going to be rigid about this schedule, but I do like to have some structure in place as I find my kids really crave normalcy. Here’s what our coming days at home might look like:
- First thing in the morning, the kids will be assigned CHORES. This is when I will be doing my “spring cleaning” or deep cleaning items that I’m needing to get to. After those are done, they will need to get dressed and ready for the day. Of course pajama days are fun on occasion, but things seem so much more “normal” when we take the time to get dressed and ready.
- The kids will have time to work on EDUCATIONAL ACTIVITIES. In my son’s case, he will be checking tasks off on his “to do” list for his science fair project. My oldest daughter has homework through Google classroom that she will need to complete before returning to school. For the other kids, I will read to them or have my first grade daughter read to me, practice writing sentences and work on letters and writing with my four-year-old. There are so many great educational apps for the tablet that the kids can do too! This is when the kids will get their piano practice done as well.
- We’ll go outside and get some EXERCISE and fresh air. The kids enjoy riding their bikes, swinging, and playing tag. Jump rope, hula hoop, hop scotch, four square and hide and seek are fun too. We have a tennis court, so I’ll be giving them “lessons” and practicing hits and serves.
- The kids will have FREE TIME/PLAY TIME without screens. They can build huts inside, play LEGO’S, board games, or toys, make crafts and be creative (they love to write stories and illustrate them), make up a play and perform it, etc.
- I’ll be giving the kids baking and cooking LESSONS. If you’re not into those things, you can instead teach a skill that you enjoy (drawing, painting, writing, singing, dancing, etc.).
- FREE TIME with screens as an option.
- Dinner and later bed time cleanup.
Here are some fun activities to do at home with kids to prevent boredom!
- Make playdough!
- Write a play together and then perform it or record it on video. Or the kids can choreograph a dance and perform it.
- Build forts with blankets, pillows, chairs, etc.
- Make perler bead creations! My kids could do this for hours!
- Do Mad Libs. The kids can even write their own and exchange them!
- Play the “Three Marker Challenge”. Print coloring pages, draw three markers out of a container with your eyes closed, then everyone gets to use only those three markers to color their page.
- Play board games. A few of our favorites for the littlest ones are Spot It, Doodle Quest, Eureka, and Sushi Go. For older kids, Cryptid, Forbidden Desert, and Labrynth are great! We own all of these and play them often.
- For older kids, have a Cupcake Wars, Iron Chef, or other baking/cooking challenge!
- Go on a treasure hunt! Either indoor or outdoor.
- Make Easter crafts.
- Have LEGO building challenges/competitions! We also love these magnetic blocks that are featured here in the photos.
- Make Flip Books!
- Play Minute to Win It Games!
- Play the Cup Game. I remember doing this fun rhythm game, growing up!
- Learn a new skill with an online video! (e.g. clay sculpture, watercolor painting, crocheting, computer coding, gymnastics, juggling, calligraphy)
- Have a paper airplane flying contest!
- Have a Raingutter Regatta in the bathtub with homemade Water Bottle (or plastic bottle) Boats!
- Play “What If” for some silliness and laughs to lighten the mood!
I hope you stay busy, happy and healthy with your family over the coming weeks!